Monday, August 29, 2005

Oslo in the Summertime

Of Montreal @ North Six 8/27/05
The opening band, Mgmt (or The Management; I'm still not sure which one), was weird. It was 2 guys in wife-beaters with sunglasses (sorry guys neither are you are Corey Hart so no "sunglasses at night" for you) and trenchcoats singing (I say that loosely) and occasionally rapping over pre-programmed beats, all with their own stage design, which resembled a tent. Like I said, it was definitely weird and not that enjoyable, to be honest. In their defense, they at least admitted that they're a "karaoke band". I couldn't agree more. What's puzzling is that the audience was going crazy for them, but I just don't get it. Of Montreal leader Kevin Barnes thought they were great, though. Maybe I'm just too old as I felt like I was one of the oldest people there. Maybe it isn't just me. After all, the person who was there with me thought so, too.

Regardless, I thought that Of Montreal were terrific. They focused mainly on their recently released wonderful new album The Sunlandic Twins, but the set left plenty of time for a bunch of oldies as well. I have to confess that since I'm not familiar with their older records, I don't know what they were, but they sounded good as well. What's great about them is that unlike way too many bands that look like they're rather be elsewhere, it's obvious that Of Montreal really enjoy playing and have a lot of fun doing that and don't really care whether that's uncool or not. They all have fake butterflies all over their instruments, for instance, as well as synchronized dance moves during certain songs. Sonically, they're very poppy and psychedelic, but also incorporate a lot of elements of electronic music and synth-pop into their sound as well. For their latest album, Barnes has said that he listed to Brian Eno and Prince and if you can envision a sonic meshing of the two of them, then you'll be somewhat close to the sound that Of Montreal manage to pull off. Oh and it doesn't hurt that Nina, who happens to be Barnes' wife, and who plays keyboards and occasionally bass and guitar, is easy on the eyes as well. She looks like a much-better looking Sandra Bernhardt.

Here's an interesting article about the band and the new album.


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